Way back when Wednesdays

Celebrate the season with Pyramid Power

Never mind the Santa hat! Imagine yourself relaxing, after the noise and bustle of the festivities is over, wearing your Pyramid Meditation Hat. The North East Leader printed this advertisement for Experimental Pyramids and Pyramid Mediation Hats on page 37 of the edition dated 20 December 1978.

Pyramid hat

During the mid 1970s people became fascinated with the concept of Pyramid Power. Though not a new idea, various authors such as Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder, Max Toth and Patrick Flanagan wrote books examining the concept that pyramid shapes can focus and generate energy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_power.

Pyramid Power Toth         Pyramid Power Flanagan

The design of the Great Cheops Pyramid of Egypt gave rise to the study of Pyramid Power. The construction of the Cheops Pyramid was ordered by the pharoah Khufu (Cheops) during the Fourth Dynasty and completed around 2560 BCE. The Cheops Pyramid is a marvel of engineering and is considered to be the most mathematically perfect structure on Earth. The pyramid is aligned north-south, exactly parallel to the earth’s magnetic axis. The King’s Chamber forms the centre of gravity. Fans of Pyramid Power believe that the other small chambers carved out of the solid rock are recepticles for energy to collect and resonate. In the 1930s Frenchman Antoine Bovis experimented with the idea that small models of pyramids can preserve food. He constructed a scale model of the Cheops pyramid, under which he put organic matter. His work was based on the idea that when locals collected small dead animals which had wandered into the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt, the corpses were mummified, instead of decaying, despite the hot and humid atmosphere, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_power

Advocates of Pyramid Power in the 1970s claimed that food kept under a structure designed like the Cheops pyramid kept fresher for longer. The food dehydrated instead of rotting. An intrepid manufacturer produced pyramid shaped canisters designed for better food storage. Even more astonishing was the assertion that razor blades were kept sharp as the pyramid focused the cosmic energy and realigned the crystals in the steel! You could also polish tarnished metal using the power of the pyramid, http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PyramidPower

fresher food

Sitting or lying under your pyramid was also supposed to speed up the healing of cuts and burns, lead to better sleep and even improve your sex life.

Sitting under a pyramid

Experimental research claimed that wearing a pyramid shaped hat could help relieve a headache. The pyramid also assisted you with focusing your mind, thereby increasing your ability to learn in the long term. The hat mentioned in the advertisement is not cheap. According to the Reserve Bank Inflation Calculator) you would now need $79.53 to purchase it. Your experimental pyramid would cost $124.29!  One may argue that sitting quietly and meditating is of benefit anyway, even without the hat. During the late 1970s there were even designs for pyramids shaped learning booths in which school students could relax and study, https://futurism.media/what-is-pyramid-power.

There are still people who believe in the properties of pyramids. However it should be noted that there is no scientific evidence to support the concept of Pyramid Power, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_power.
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Married at the Mall

Organising a wedding is usually expensive. It can be difficult to find a venue and you will probably need to book months ahead. Have you considered getting married at Tea Tree Plaza? One Adelaide couple did! During July 1975 the North East Leader Messenger reported on the ‘Wedding of the Year’ that took place at Tea Tree Plaza.

On page 25 of the edition dated 9 July, 1975 the North East Leader featured the wedding celebration of Marcella Denengelse and Robert Scott. The ceremony took place on Friday 4 July in the mall on the upper level of Tea Tree Plaza. The couple had won the Wedding of the Year competition and all of their expenses were paid for by the shopping centre. Adelaide socialite and television personality Jaye Walton was invited to attend Marcella as her matron of honour and Adelaide journalist Paul Makin acted as Robert’s best man.

Wedding ceremony 2

The Wedding of the Year competition was essentially a sales promotion, designed to advertise the wares of businesses at Tea Tree Plaza and bring people into the shopping centre. In the week before the wedding on 2 July, Tea Tree Plaza and the North East Leader focused on the local traders who would be donating products and services for Marcella and Robert’s wedding.

Wedding prducts from local traders

A large number of businesses, many of which were situated at Tea Tree Plaza, sponsored the competition.

Adelaide icon Balfours used to have bakeries and tea rooms around Adelaide. Balfours at Tea Tree Plaza supplied the two tier wedding cake, which the public were invited to share after the wedding ceremony.

Orlando wines, from Rowland Flat in the Barossa Valley, provided tastings of the popular sparkling Orlando Starwine. Started by the Gramp family, Orlando Wines is now owned by an international company controlled by Pinot Ricard but it is more commonly known by its brand Jacob’s Creek.

 

nla.int-ex8-s33-item Starwine

Wytt Morro Sparkling Starwine, colour print on paper: 11.4 x 10.1cm, South Australiana Collections, State Library of South Australia

Joseph’s Gallery of Beauty dressed the hair of the bride and her attendants. Italian hairdresser Joseph was well known in Adelaide at the time. He owned several salons and had his own regular television segment on Channel 10.

 

More wedding

Marcella and Robert, their attendants and the Mother of the Bride were outfitted by Katies Vogue, John Cook Suit Hire, Myer and Witchery. Who knew that Katies used to sell formal wear and wedding apparel? Katies has now closed. Zamels, which is still in business at Tea Tree Plaza, donated the wedding rings.

Drumminor restaurant held the wedding reception. The historic building which used to house the Drumminor Restaurant on Golden Grove Road, Ridgehaven is now part the Harrison’s Funerals complex. Built in 1843, it was originally the home of Scottish immigrants Robert and Alison Milne. The Milne family lived at Drumminor up until 1937.

 

drumminor_gardens_house

Drumminor Gardens, Harrison Funerals Ridgehaven

 

The couple spent their wedding night at the Town House at 164 Hindley Street. This hotel and conference centre still operates as the Adelaide Rockford. You may not think that it looks particularly glamourous but remember that in 1975 Adelaide did not yet have prestigious hotels such as the Hilton International and the Stamford Plaza.

 

 

Rockford Adelaide

Adelaide Rockford, present day

 

This competition proved so popular that Tea Tree Plaza planned to hold it again in 1976. Notice how the advertisement states that the organisers are looking for a young couple. The Equal Opportunity Act of 1984 (SA) would now make it unlawful to publish advertisements that indicate an intention to discriminate according to different criteria, including age http://www.eoc.sa.gov.au/eo-you/what-discrimination/places-discrimination/advertising .

 

Wedding of the Year competition

North East Leader, page 15, 2 July, 1975

 

In more recent times, a British couple decided to get married at their local supermarket where they had visited the in-store café on their first date.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Extra duties at work

When you look at the issues of the North East Leader Messenger from the first two months of 1972, they are filled with photographs of fresh-faced children of all ages enjoying the summer heat, usually swimming at the local pools, or taking part in fun activities at Tea Tree Plaza. Looking at these images can evoke fond memories of your childhood. You might reflect that kids never change, no matter the era in which they grow up.

Fortunately some things that were not so wholesome have changed. The North East Leader at this time often pictured photographs of staff at Tea Tree Plaza, wearing some of the outfits on sale at different stores. Most of these depict ordinary people modelling dresses or casual wear. They are usually female staff.

On page 20 of the North East Leader dated 16 February 1972, Tea Tree Plaza featured a sales promotion for the big sidewalk sale. In conjunction with Hooper’s Furniture, Sussan advertised ladies nightwear. In the accompanying photograph young sales assistant Wendy Cummings is pictured in an alluring pose, wearing a short nightdress and showing off her legs. Besides her is another set of nightwear. During the 1960s and 1970s Sussan was a major retailer of lingerie and the place to purchase your wedding ‘trousseau’. We cannot know if Wendy volunteered for the photo opportunity or if modelling Sussan’s stock was just part of her job.

Sussan nightdress

Two of my colleagues recall how much sexism they experienced in the workplace during the 1970s. The advertising industry still uses sex appeal to sell products and objectify women. Thankfully today we do not usually see this type of image in the Messenger newspaper, with its focus on family and the community. When you work in the retail industry it is no longer considered acceptable to ask your female staff to promote your shop’s stock by being photographed wearing a little nightie. You also have the right to say no to such a request.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

The fast and the far-fetched

Every now and then, the Adelaide media report on some unfortunate car driver who has misinterpreted road signs, taken the wrong lane and become stranded on the tracks of the O-Bahn busway at Hackney Road. If you drive a regular vehicle onto the O-Bahn tracks instead of a specially modified bus, a car pit mechanism situated just before the Hackney Road tunnel will tear out the oil pan on the underside of your car’s engine.

On the front page of the edition dated 12 July 1989, the Leader Messenger reported on a somewhat eccentric plan for the Sunday preceding the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. Formula Holden racing cars and even a Formula One racing car would drive down the O-Bahn tracks to the Paradise Interchange, then travel on the road to their destination at Tea Tree Gully. Not only would this event promote the car race and the busway, it would bring out local residents and tourists to the City of Tea Tree Gully.

Formula OBahn

Aside from having to lift the racing cars onto the tracks by crane to avoid the pit mechanism, there are some obvious flaws in this plan. Saloon cars and especially a Formula One racing cars are incredibly expensive to manufacture. Each Formula One car is worth approximately $2.6 million in material costs. The engine of a Formula One racing car is an example of engineering excellence. A steering wheel alone can cost up to $50,000 (http://autoweek.com/article/formula-one/why-do-formula-one-grand-prix-cars-cost-so-much). It is highly unlikely that the Grand Prix Office and Holden would risk damaging these precision vehicles for such an exercise. Would the width of these cars’ axels and the wheels even be the same as the span of the O-Bahn tracks?

There is no indication in the article of who devised this plan but as the saying goes, somebody thought that it like a good idea at the time. A week later on 19 July 1989, the Leader Messenger reported on page 1 that the State Government had vetoed racing cars driving on the tracks for safety reasons. Transport Minister Frank Blevin stated that racing cars driving on the tracks would be dangerous for O-Bahn commuters and “put ideas in other people’s minds.”

Grand Prix cars

If you did not experience the Grand Prix it began in November 1985 when Adelaide hosted the last race of the Formula One championship season. This was the time before the Adelaide Fringe, Womadelaide and the Clipsal 500. The Formula One race showed that Adelaide could stage a world class event. Over 200,000 spectators attended the four-day event.

The atmosphere in the city was exciting and you could easily hear the roar of the car engines (I remember my fellow Adelaide Uni students imitating the noise for fun). There were tourists visiting from interstate and overseas. The slogan ‘Adelaide Alive’ was used on promotional materials and merchandise. There were flags flying and posters promoting the race were displayed everywhere in the city centre.

Adelaide Alive

At the glamourous Grand Prix Ball, fans paid $400 for a ticket to dress up and mix with drivers and pit crew, while being entertained by Australian and international artists. Ordinary people held their own grand prix themed barbeques or parties while watching the action on television.

The colourful yet challenging street circuit ran through the east parklands and Victoria Park Racecourse. The racing drivers praised the street circuit. Their cars could reach high speeds of over 322 km/h along the fast wide straights and they needed all their skill to maneuver around the twisting turns of the hairpin and chicane.

During the era of the Formula One Grand Prix, Adelaide was privileged to watch drivers from all many different countries compete, such as Keke Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Damon Hill. Spectators experienced the rivalry between speed demon Ayrton Senna and the tenacious Alain Prost. Many people had little prior knowledge of Formula One before the race was held here but it did not matter as you soon became familiar with the various car manufacturers and racing champions.

Adelaide continued to hold the Formula One Race until 1995. In 1996 the race moved location to a circuit in Albert Park Melbourne, following negotiations between the Head of the Formula One Constructors Association, Bernie Ecclestone and the Victorian government.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

A bigger, better library

In its first incarnation, the Tea Tree Gully Library was a bookmobile. The ‘Municipal Library’ began operating in June 1965. It was a bus that serviced the local community by visiting locations around the local district, Inglewood and Houghton, such as shopping centres, the Council Civic Centre, schools and the Highbury hotel. At this time, Tea Tree Gully had a population of approximately 16,000 residents scattered over an area of 55 square miles. By 1968 the population had increased to 27,000 and Tea Tree Gully had officially been declared a City. The Library’s book stock and the number of borrowers had also increased substantially, making conditions cramped inside the mobile library. Due to its age and poor mechanical condition the bus had to be retired.

Public Library

So the official opening of a new public library made front page news in the North East Leader, a Messenger newspaper on 5 March 1969. The Library was housed in the building which was formerly the Modbury Primary School and headmaster’s cottage, which is now designated as 561 Montague Road, Modbury. It was small compared with our modern library facilities but it had high ceilings, fireplaces and was of solid construction. However, I recall a former Library staff member who worked in the old building shelving books after school commenting that it was cold and that there were mice!

The North East Leader article provides us with some interesting statistics relating to the amount of book stock held by the Library, the number of loans and membership in 1969. Naturally the demand for library services has increased over time. Since 1969 the Tea Tree Gully Library has serviced the community at three other locations. The Library opened on 17 December 1975 at 1020 North East Road, Modbury, adjacent the former Civic Centre and on 28 July 1991 at 98 Smart Road, Modbury, in a joint-use agreement with the Torrens Valley Institute of TAFE. Things have changed quite a bit since the Tea Tree Gully Library moved to our current premises in the Civic Centre at 571 Montague Road in 2003.

As of September 2017 the City of Tea Tree Gully Library has approximately 118,000 items in stock, including not only books and magazines, but also many audiovisual materials which did not exist in 1969. As part of the One Card Library network we can offer our customers infinitely more choice.   On average, the Library issues 75,000 loans per month. We have 28,500 members who have borrowed in the last three years and we enroll around 266 new people per month.

The heritage listed Modbury School House building has been transformed into the Sfera’s 1877 Restaurant which commenced business in 2004. Sfera’s 1877 Restaurant offers fine dining and serves Italian cuisine.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Special times at the Show

What are your special memories of the Royal Adelaide Show? One of our staff members at the Library was reminiscing about the Show. She mused about how she always loved the fairy dolls on sticks that you could buy there. She proudly displayed her doll in her bedroom.  On the front page of the edition dated 12 September 1973, the North East Leader pictured Anne Marie McArthur from Ridgehaven holding a fairy doll at the Show. Lots of little girls would have been envious. Their mothers also loved these dolls!

Fairy doll

The fairies on sticks were actually Kewpie dolls. They came in various sizes and the large ones were more ornate. These dolls had glitter painted on their heads and they were dressed in pretty colours, amid several layers of net skirt. The doll was fixed to a piece of cane shaped like a shepherd’s crook, so you could hold it easily and then hang it up at home.

70s girl at the Royal Adelaide Show

“In the 1970s and 1980s plastic showbags promoting snacks and lollies competed with showbags for rock groups, celebrities, television programmes and movies” http://www.nma.gov.au/kspace/teachers/adelaide/learning/showbags

 

Today Adelaide hosts a myriad of activities for children but in 1973 when your parents took you to the Royal Adelaide Show it really was a special experience. Families were larger so you were fortunate if you could afford to go every year. Children would save up their pocket money for months in advance, in anticipation of purchasing lots of showbags. With the school year having three terms, the Show also fell during the September school holidays.

Some older people might even remember the days when companies gave out free sample bags at the Show to promote their products, which contained mainly food samples. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/six-things-you-should-know-about-the-royal-adelaide-show/8859878 This would have been a boon for poorer kids, especially during the hardship of the Great Depression. These bags were the forerunners of our modern showbags.

Some things have remained the same at the Show. It is still primarily an agricultural event. The price, contents and design of showbags have changed over time but there are still so many to choose from. The ferris wheel and dodgem cars have been refitted and showgoers can play games such as the iconic laughing clowns. However on the map of the Wayville showgrounds Sideshow Alley is now called the Carnival. Patrons can purchase many new types of food are now available at the Showground but you can still enjoy Fairy Floss, waffles, hot cinnamon donuts and even the Dagwood dog.

Some things have gone. The art-deco edifice Centennial Hall was built in 1936 and closed in 2005 because it became structurally unsafe. It has been replaced by the modern Goyder Pavilion. I think that the horticultural displays have downsized but there are still competitions for needlecraft and cookery.

The Mad Mouse, which was the original roller coaster at the Royal Adelaide Show, ceased operation in 2007 and Kewpie fairy dolls have been replaced by toys depicting characters from film and television. The days are over where the Commonwealth Bank used to produce plastic elephant money boxes with the slogan “Get with the strength”. You could also get an iron-on transfer of Humphrey B. Bear for your t-shirt in a showbag from the Savings Bank of South Australia. I used to get excited about visiting the RSPCA shop in the Grandstand complex to build up my collection of Britains brand farm animals. And everyone knew that it was worth getting the Golden Eggs showbag from the egg board – not only for the recipes but because inside the bag you would find a cute molded plastic eggcup with shoes and stockings on its legs.

Eggcups final

Eggs with legs

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Blue jeans with bling – Eighties style

Was this the height of fashion or just a 1980s fashion which is still in dubious taste?

On page 13 of the edition dated 23 February 1983, the North East Leader ran a feature on diamond studded jeans which were reported as trending in Paris.  In her column titled In Style Jaye Walton wrote about a collaboration between diamond merchant Bruce Portner, Californian jeans label Tres Jolie and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to mass produce diamond trimmed jeans.

Jeans with bling final.jpg

Former model Jaye Walton was the original host and producer of the popular Adelaide television show Touch of Elegance. Touch of Elegance screened at 11am on SAS Channel 10, from 1968 until 1980. Having a woman as the principle host was a first for Adelaide television.  The show featured fashion and lifestyle segments, musical performances and advertorials. Jaye Walton interviewed a series of special guests, including celebrities and promoted local events.  Some people thought Jaye Walton was stylish and sophisticated but others considered her to be a snob who was out of touch with the average income earner.  She is reputed to have said “If you want to be truly successful, you need to have half the audience loving you and the other half hating you, then they all talk about you”   This strategy probably worked for her. Jaye Walton died in March this year, aged 88.

Hopefully wearing these fancy jeans did not usually result in being grabbed around the waist by strange men.  North East Leader certainly needed more accurate type-setting, printing the not-so-elegant phrase “proving that denims can be a girl’s brest friend”.  “Shrila Chan” is probably well-known Hong Kong actress Sheila Chan. Sheila Chan has appeared in numerous films and on television and she was elected First Runner-up and Miss Photogenic of the 1988 Miss Hong Kong Beauty Pageant.

Though not a mainstream fashion item, it is still possible to buy rhinestone studded jeans online.  However, wearing upmarket denim adorned with precious gems does not seem to have been a lasting trend.  If you could afford to buy the jeans you had to be prepared for the cost of regularly dry cleaning them too.

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